East Oxford LTNs to remain
Three low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in east Oxford are to remain, following a decision by Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet at a meeting today (Tuesday, 17 October), after an 18 month trial.
Cabinet also approved the use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras in three locations, the addition of a closure at Jeune Street, the investigation of measures to improve bus journey times and other local improvements.
Exemptions from restrictions to be enforced by ANPR on Divinity Road, James Street and Magdalen Road were approved for emergency services, waste and postal vehicles, taxi and private hire vehicles. The use of ANPR and/or exemptions will be reviewed prior to and during the trial of the traffic filters, due in autumn 2024.
Councillor Andrew Gant, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport Management, said: “I want to sincerely thank everyone who has shared their opinions on the east Oxford LTNs. A common theme among speakers today was a concern about congestion. Our city roads are full. Removing the LTNs means allowing congestion to spread back into residential streets. Retaining them means we can work to maintain and increase their benefits.
“I recognise that there remain concerns. As a council we are prioritising measures to reduce bus journey times. We have also heard from businesses operating in a complex commercial environment, and residents struggling with difficult personal circumstances. However, an increase in dangerous congestion with no plan for change helps no-one.
“As a council, we are committed to offering people meaningful choice in how they travel. We are working to preserve essential journeys by car, while also encouraging safe travel for all by walking, scooting, biking and greater use of public transport. LTNs are one step towards less reliance on private car journeys. The traffic filters, due to be trialled in autumn next year, are expected to have the greatest impact on alleviating congestion, improving bus journey times and enabling new and improved bus routes.”
The decision follows engagement with residents, businesses, emergency services and other interested parties throughout the trial period, with the council making some changes to the scheme based on feedback received. Members of the public were also able to comment on the scheme through two formal consultations that ran from May to November 2022 and for six weeks in summer 2023.
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Notes to editors
The full list of approved changes and mitigations is:
- Approve the replacement of the bollards in Divinity Road, James Street and Magdalen Road with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.
- Approve exemptions for emergency services, waste and postal vehicles, taxi and private hire vehicles through the restrictions enforced by ANPR on Divinity Road, James Street and Magdalen Road. The use of ANPR and/or exemptions will be reviewed prior to and during the trial of the traffic filters.
- Approve the introduction of bollards and/or planters at the junction of Jeune Street and St. Clement’s, and make Jeune Street two-way south of the restriction.
- Relocate the residential parking bay in Marston Street.
- Move the filter location on Bullingdon Road to the southwest to a point to the east of the junction with Hurst Street.
- Approve the investigation of measures to improve public transport journey times across the city and resource the interventions.
Taxis and private hire vehicles are considered part of the public transport network in Oxfordshire, alongside buses, scheduled coaches and rail. Our transport user hierarchy encourages the development of schemes that prioritise walking, cycling and public transport use. More information, can be found on pages 37 - 38 of the county council’s local transport and connectivity plan.
LTNs are designed to work with other measures including the planned traffic filters trial. Traffic filters are intended to reduce traffic levels in Oxford by managing the use of certain roads in the city by private cars. The trial will begin when Network Rail’s work to improve Oxford Rail Station is completed (expected to be autumn 2024).